It’s You, Not Me: How This B2B Marketing Pro Learned to Stop Hating PowerPoint, and Just Move On

Do you want to know why I do not list PowerPoint as a B2B inbound marketing skill that I use professionally? Because I would prefer to not have to use it professionally. I understand you may take offense to this statement, as blagillions of PowerPoint users love the ease of use, efficiency and broadly accepted format for B2B marketing presentations. I have made countless PPT presentations in my lifetime, not one would I be willing to share in a portfolio review. I own a full Microsoft Office suite on my personal laptop, cringing a bit whenever I am tasked to utilize its applications for inbound marketing purposes. With each time, I ready myself for the Sisyphean task of delivering a great product with a boulder of cumbersome software limitations.

reveal.jsI’m Gonna Wash PowerPoint Right Out of My Hair

As a Mac user, I was thrilled by the introduction of Prezi and Keynote a couple of years ago. It opens up the box, so to speak, to allow designers to craft more controls over the visual aesthetic and content of a presentation. Recently I was posed with a challenge to find a HTML-driven format that was lightweight on coding, file size and processing, but heavy on dynamics. It would need to fit on a flash drive and run flawlessly with, or without an internet connection. It also would need to be able to be driven by a presenter via remote or keyboard. I could have slapped myself in the face with a cactus, upon hearing myself utter, “Why wouldn’t you just use PowerPoint?”

Finding The Perfect Match

I found several blogs where designers were featuring the same five to seven commercial apps and free source codes. I tried a few, to kick the tires and see if each would be worthy of building a major presentation. The first I looked at was impress.js, a Prezi-style format where slides are arranged on a 3D artboard where your presentation can rotate and pan as you wish. It is pretty rad what it can do, especially if you do not want to cough up the change for a deluxe Prezi license. But it would not work for what my B2B inbound marketing presentation I was soon to build, as the slide flow was not appropriate. I spent approximately four minutes deciding Google Slides was not going to work, but kept it bookmarked should the right inbound marketing presentation require such an easy-to-use application that a client may want to edit themselves.

When Sean met Reveal.js

It was using a demo on a commercial site called Slide.es that I found a winner for my task. Once I discovered the site’s offering was built on free source code, I quickly downloaded reveal.js and began to stop kicking tires. I was ready to drive! Reveal was developed by Swedish engineer Hakim El Hattab, and is generously supported by a large group of designers, developers, and Hakim himself. It is a feature-packed code, including nested slides, CSS, PDF export, speaker notes and a JavaScript API. It uses a HTML5 <section> element to build each slide upon.

Reveal.js presentation also features:

  • Ability to work offline
  • Responsive
  • Keyboard and remote control navigation
  • Slide transitions and animations
  • Mobile device support, can be displayed on a smartphone using a mobile web browser or a mobile app.
  • URL to slide, can link directly to a slide using a URL
  • Auto-play/timed transitions
  • Compatible with multiple browsers
  • Can embed images
  • Can embed videos and audio and other multimedia

MSB + Reveal.js 4EVER

Digging through the javascript was slow at first to shape the presentation as I wanted, but eventually I found my stride. One of the initial hurdles I faced, specifically related to how I would set autoplay of embedded video and audio content, was found through one of the aforementioned forums. With the necessary HTML5 tags in place, I had one very powerful presentation application that I would proudly share in my resume. If you would like to try Reveal.js out for yourself, try this tutorial for beginners. If you want to try it out without coding, go to slid.es and use the demo mode.

We’ve all suffered through enough bad relationships presentations in our lives. These are my tips to helping you find your perfect creative match. Please share yours with a comment below.






How to Create Relevant Marketing Content for B2B Marketing




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